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Overcoming Sexual Addiction - Enlisting the Help of Others

Discussion in 'Recovery Library' started by Dropout_Theologian, Jun 1, 2018.

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  1. Dropout_Theologian

    Dropout_Theologian Not an ant in God's glorious library. Supporter

    United States
    The following are excerpts from chapter 4 of Russell Willingham’s Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction & the Healing Power of Jesus.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Enlisting the Help of Others
    Essential Two: The Power of Genuine Friendship

    "Nathan stood nervously in front of the audience. He had agreed to give his testimony at our promotional dessert, but I could tell he was scared. I could also tell he was determined. "I wouldn't be here today," he began, "if it wasn't for people who loved me." I couldn't help feeling proud of the changes that had taken place in his life.

    It seemed like only yesterday that Nathan was sitting in my office saying he couldn't stop soliciting prostitutes. Until then he had tried a do-it-yourself recovery complete with prayer and Bible study, but nothing had changed. Those disciplines hadn't helped him, because he left out a crucial element: other people. But now look at him! Once he was terrified of anyone's ever knowing his secret. Now he was telling a crowd of four hundred people just how Jesus had saved him from sexual addiction." [Copywriter's note: Speaking in front of hundreds of people not necessarily required.]

    I snapped back to the present in time to hear him say, "I tried everything, folks, but nothing worked until I involved people. It's people that make the difference!" Nathan was right. No lasting change in addictive behavior will come without the help of others. This brings us to our second essential: We must establish at least one to three supportive relationships for the purpose of accountability. Without this we will be deluded regarding our motives and unable to control our behavior.

    When a sex addict is told he must share his secret with others, he feels one thing—terror! But there is something he may not have considered: keeping it a secret also keeps him in bondage. Scripture says that without the regular involvement of another brother, we will fall into self-deception and sin: "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness (Heb. 3:12-13)." [sic] . . .

    [The above is from pages 65-66, elements of formatting mine.]

    Checklist and surrounding portion, under sub-heading Who Can You Really Trust?

    . . . "Here are some guidelines:
    ☐ Look for someone who demonstrates mercy and compassion.
    ☐ He must also have a grasp of truth and be afraid to confront.
    ☐ He must be able to hear the details of your story without backing away in disgust or fear.
    ☐ He must be a person who is comfortable with the expression of emotions and not require that you conceal yours.
    ☐ He should be someone who doesn't have to fix everything with a Bible verse or Christian cliché.
    ☐ He must be able to share with you how he is broken as well (if he doesn't think he is, he can't help you).
    ☐ He must not repeat what you share without your permission.
    ☐ He must know that you are likely to lie to him.
    ☐ He must be regular and specific in the questions he asks you.
    ☐ He should be someone who can rejoice with you over little victories.
    ☐ He must love you and not see you as a project.

    Obviously, we do not share the intimate details of our lives with everyone, but we must do so with a few. Our Lord modeled this for us in his relationship with Peter, James, and John. Though he didn't need them for accountability, he did look to them for friendship and support (see Mt 26:37-38). If he needed companionship with other men, don't you?" . . .

    [The above is from pages 72-73, elements of formatting mine.]
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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